Clarke Carlisle does not feel that the ‘six-point’ nature of the Easter Monday game at Cheltenham Town will be a motivating factor for the Cobblers.
Town head to Whaddon Road in third place in npower League Two after their win over Torquay on Good Friday night and Burton’s defeat to Chesterfield on Saturday afternoon.
Cheltenham are three points behind Town in fifth, and could overtake them if they were to win by three goals or more.
A draw might be enough to keep Northampton in the top three even if Burton win, while three points for Aidy Boothroyd’s men could see them go above Port Vale and into second at the end of an eventful Easter weekend.
But Carlisle says the players’ focus is only on the next fixture and that league positions – and the loss to the Robins in December – do not come into it.
“Past results are irrelevant, we’re going to go out there and do our jobs,” said Carlisle, who was part of the Town side beaten 3-2 by Cheltenham in what is their only Saturday home defeat in more than 11 months. “We’ve got a continual run of tough games and it’s especially true because of how tight it is at the bottom of the table.
“Whoever you play, they are either fighting for their lives, fighting for automatic promotion or fighting for the play-offs, there are probably only two or three teams with nothing to play for.
“Cheltenham are looking up and we’re looking up too. It’s immaterial who is in front of us, though, we’ve got to make sure we do our jobs.”
That job will involve stopping a Cheltenham side who were beaten 3-2 at Port Vale on Friday but who have been in the top seven since October.
Carlisle believes the team showed a resilience and a total absence of any panic when they ground out a win over Torquay last time out, with the decisive goal coming from the head of Roy O’Donovan in the 85th minute.
“At this stage of the season teams get nervous and they panic,” he said. “But for the entire 90 minutes against Torquay on Friday there was no panic from us.
“We ground them down, the lads were calm and did their jobs and they continued to do their jobs even after we got the ball in the back of the net on three or four occasions and had those goals ruled out.
“It was an outstanding performance. We’re confident and we have the ability to exact what the manager wants us to do.”